Cherry Tomato Focaccia

Cherry tomato focaccia with rosemary is an easy no knead recipe ~ the bread is crunchy, the tomatoes are juicy, and the whole thing is absolutely delicious!

cherry tomato focaccia, stacked

cherry tomato focaccia is a classic Italian flatbread

I know what you’re thinking ~ classic Italian recipes are time consuming and complicated, but think again! This easy focaccia bread is no knead, one bowl, and one rise. It’s a great project for a beginning baker — the recipe is simple and straightforward but the result has got a real wow factor. You’ll be so proud, and your friends will be so happy 🙂

more focaccia recipes from the Great Island kitchen

cherry tomato focaccia cooling on a rack

a few simple ingredients make focaccia bread

I love this basic focaccia recipe, I’ve been making it for years and it always comes out perfectly. It takes under 2 hours to make from start to finish, and I can customize it for the season or the occasion. This is the high summer version. The little tomatoes burst in your mouth when you bite into it and their sweet juice, along with the rosemary and the salty bread is a real treat.

  • flour ~ you can actually use all purpose or bread flour for this recipe. And you can swap out half of the white flour for whole wheat, if you like.
  • yeast ~ I use instant yeast, but you can use regular dry active as well.
  • warm water
  • olive oil ~ for this bread use the boldest extra virgin olive oil for great flavor.
  • coarse or kosher salt
  • cherry tomatoes, the smaller the better.
  • rosemary ~ fresh only!
focaccia dough ready to bake

method for making no knead focaccia

The soft sticky dough needs only an hour to rise, and then you pat it out into a rough rectangle on a baking sheet. You dip your fingers in olive oil and poke it all over so there are luscious little pools of oil that flavor the bread. Then on go the tomatoes, some fresh rosemary, and a sprinkle of sea salt. There’s no second rise needed, it goes right into a hot oven.

  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl or in a stand mixer.
  2. Pour in the wet ingredients and mix until a soft, sticky dough forms.
  3. Cover with plastic and let rise for about an hour.
  4. Pat the dough out on an oiled baking sheet (lined with parchment if you like) and dip your fingers in oil to make little oil filled dimples all over the surface ~ don’t be stingy!
  5. Top with halved cherry tomatoes, cut side up, and sprinkle liberally with chopped fresh rosemary and coarse salt.
  6. Bake until golden and crusty!
a stack of focaccia topped with cherry tomatoes

what to serve with homemade tomato focaccia bread

I love to serve focaccia bread as an appetizer, that’s how they did it in my favorite Italian restaurant in Los Angeles. A little basket of bread fresh from the oven is such a welcome sight when you’re hungry. Pair with a light Sauvignon Blanc or Pinto Noir (actually anything goes with this versatile bread.) Even though we’re no longer living in Los Angeles the first bite of this crusty bread takes me right back to our old neighborhood trattoria. Great food memories never die!

If you want to make a meal of it, there’s no shortage of Italian inspired recipes in the archives, here are some thoughts…

taking a slice of cherry tomato focaccia bread from a stack

tomato focaccia variations

Can I make this with whole grains?

Yes, whole grain flour will make a denser, slightly tougher, but more nutritious bread. You can also mix 1/2 and 1/2 whole grain to white flour.

Can I use regular yeast instead of instant?

Yes, the two are actually interchangeable, which may surprise you if you’re an accomplished baker. Today’s commercial yeast, both ‘active dry’ and rapid rise ‘instant yeast’ is made with small particles that can be added straight to the dry ingredients in a recipe, no need to proof in warm liquid first. This is game changing, and takes an extra step off an already easy recipe! (Source: King Arthur Flour reported on this way back in 2015.)

Can you add the cherry tomatoes whole?

Only use very small cherry tomatoes if you want to add them whole, otherwise it’s best to slice them in half. I place them cut side up so the juices don’t create soggy patches in the bread.

Can I use regular tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes to top the focaccia?

You can. I suggest slicing them fairly thin and draining the slices briefly on paper towels before adding to the dough.

Is it ok to use dried rosemary?

I don’t recommend it; fresh rosemary has a wonderful piney flavor that you can only get from the fresh herb.

What else can be used to top focaccia?

The sky’s the limit here ~ try sliced mushrooms, thin slivers of red or white onion, olives, very thinly shaved slices of lemon, fresh herbs, etc. Anchovies, capers, feta cheese, peppers, both sweet and hot ~ they’re all delish!

Can this focaccia be made ahead?

Yes, after mixing the dough and covering the bowl with plastic wrap you can refrigerate up to a day in advance. When ready to bake bring the dough to room temperature and proceed.

What size pan do I bake focaccia in?

I use a standard half sheet pan, about 17″x12″. But no worries about using a slightly larger or smaller pan (you don’t have to pat the dough all the way to the edges of the pan.) The bread is great a little thicker, or a little thinner, just adjust the baking time. The bread is done when the crust is nice and golden.

How can I keep my focaccia from sticking to the pan?

I generously oil the pan first. This helps prevent sticking and also ensures that the bottom crust is flavorful and crunchy. I loosen it with a spatula and slide it off the pan soon after taking it out of the oven to finish cooling on a rack. You can also line your pan with parchment paper, or a silicone mat.

How do I store my focaccia?

I like to cover it with foil and store on the counter. I don’t use plastic wrap because I don’t want it to get soggy.

Print
4.22 from 73 votes

Cherry Tomato Focaccia

Cherry tomato focaccia with rosemary is an easy no knead recipe ~ the bread is crunchy, the tomatoes are juicy, and the whole thing is absolutely delicious!
Course bread
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
rising 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Yield 20 servings
Calories 124kcal
Author Sue Moran

Equipment

  • half sheet baking pan, roughly 16×12

Ingredients

  • 4 cups all purpose flour, or bread flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp or a 1/4 ounce packet of instant or regular dry active yeast. I use instant yeast.
  • 2 tsp kosher or sea salt plus more for sprinkling
  • 2-3 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, rough chopped, plus extra for top of bread
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups warm water (not hot!)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half.

Instructions

  • Put the flour, yeast, salt, and rosemary in the bowl of a stand mixer (you can also do this by hand) and mix to combine.
  • With the mixer on low add the water and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, mixing until a soft wet dough forms. It will be sticky.
  • Cover and let rise for 40 minutes to an hour in a warm place. It should be puffed up slightly.
  • Meanwhile preheat the oven to 425F
  • Turn the dough out onto a well oiled half sheet pan. You can line it with parchment paper or a silicone mat if you like to prevent sticking. Note: if your dough seems excessively sticky you can fold in a tablespoon of flour to make it easier to handle. Use your fingers to press it out to a large rectangle. I like to fill the pan, but you can make it a little smaller too. You can flour your fingers if it helps to ease the dough into shape.
  • Put some olive oil in a small bowl and dip your fingers into the oil, and then poke little indents all over the bread, leaving little pools of oil. Do this all over the surface. Don’t skimp; this will result in great flavor after the bread is baked.
  • Arrange the tomatoes across the top, cut side up, pressing them into the dough slightly, then scatter more chopped rosemary leaves evenly across the surface. Sprinkle sea salt over all.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden and crusty.
  • Remove the bread from the pan to cool on a rack. Feel free to enjoy while warm!

Cook’s notes

Smaller cherry tomatoes work best for this bread. If all you can find are larger cherry tomatoes, halve them before putting them on the dough, cut side up!

Nutrition

Calories: 124kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 236mg | Potassium: 91mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 122IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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54 Comments

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  • Reply
    Marisa
    July 14, 2019 at 8:43 am

    Hi, can I make this dough a day ahead and store in the fridge? Looks delicious! Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 14, 2019 at 9:30 am

      I don’t see why not, although I haven’t tried that Marisa. Let me know how it works out.

  • Reply
    Tony
    January 14, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    5 stars
    Hilariously only I stumbled across your recipe while googling how to spell ‘focaccia.’ And when I saw the pictures and realized how simple the recipe was I knew I had to do it. Wow was I totally impressed! I’m not a huge baker but I’ve done a few herb breads but nothing as crunchy, dense, chewy and packed with cheesy, and sweet flavor! It will definitely be my go-to when I need to impress. I did however add a few ingredients like marinating the tomatoes in slivered basil, minced garlic, salt, pepper and tiny crememini mushrooms. Also, while spreading the dough I slipped in some of the Parmesan. I also left out a bit of the flour. I wasn’t expecting it to rise quite as much as it did though, but love the depth it took on and will reuse the dough recipe for deep dish pizza! Thanks a ton!

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 14, 2017 at 4:24 pm

      This is so great to hear Tony ~ I’m glad you stumbled on the blog! I’ve got a few other focaccia recipes hanging around, hope you try them!

  • Reply
    Jesse
    August 23, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    5 stars
    I’ve made this twice and it’s great! Very easy to make and super tasty. Thanks for sharing your recipe – it’s probably going to be a regular dish for me 🙂

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 23, 2016 at 4:18 pm

      I’m so glad you liked it, Jesse, once you master this bread there are so many ways to top it, the possibilities are endless.

  • Reply
    Mae
    May 18, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    No kneading require?!! Am I reading it right

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 19, 2016 at 7:47 am

      Yup! Enjoy Mae!

  • Reply
    Carly
    February 22, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    I made this recipe this afternoon and although it tastes good, the outside is pretty crispy and the inside kinda dense. Am I doing something wrong? I’ve read a couple places that I might need less flour? And I am in Canada so I don’t know if that makes a difference…?

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 22, 2016 at 1:25 pm

      Perhaps you could have patted it out thinner Carly? It sounds like the inside didn’t get cooked all the way. Also check your oven temperature, it might not be accurate. I highly recommend an inexpensive oven thermometer to everyone, it really helps! I’ve included a metric weight measurement for the flour, so that should help, too.

  • Reply
    CAH // TheCarboholic
    January 15, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for this recipe! I have made it countless times in the last month or two.

    I typically top mine with garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary, and a light sprinkling of parmesan. The cheese gets all toasty, and the flavor is outrageous, especially for such an easy bread with little kneading and a short rise.

    Not sure if it’s the climate here in Los Angeles, but I do find I need to hold back some flour for the dough to come together.

    Thanks again!

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 15, 2014 at 5:37 pm

      So glad you liked it! That focaccia recipe has served me well over the years.

  • Reply
    Peter @Feed Your Soul Too
    December 20, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    5 stars
    I really like the addition of the tomatoes. the color it adds is awesome. I featured it on my Friday Five!

  • Reply
    sandi
    August 24, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Sue, help I have to make this for a wedding munchie thing in Frnce. NOW. A. can I do it and serve it room temp? and the yest I found seems to hve some bking powder. 1st batch going in for experiment with hubby. Apologise for dodgy key board. A is wonky

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 24, 2013 at 9:18 am

      Hey Sandi— you can definitely serve it at room temperature. You will want to sprinkle on some fresh rosemary to make it look extra pretty…

  • Reply
    vanillasugarblog
    August 20, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    5 stars
    roasted tomatoes, roasted onions, and roasted rosemary are some of my favorite things on homemade focaccia.

  • Reply
    Tricia
    August 18, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    5 stars
    Oh this is lovely! A bottle of wine – a little cheese – I could be so happy eating this focaccia. The tomatoes are wonderful!

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